Monday, November 29, 2010

Proposals received for the Condado Lagoon restoration; SJBEP at the EPA BOLD; Mangrove planting; Anti-littering campaign

Pictures: Our Citizen Advisory Committee's President, Gretchen Guzmán, offering a Red mangrove planting workshop near the Cucharillas Wetland at the Cataño Municipality; Volunteers planting at one of the selected sites; and a new cigarette butts anti-littering campaign that includes the SJBEP's logo as part of the initiative.

Our weekly update for November 21, 2010 to November 27, 2010 includes the following activities:

1) Another step closer towards the benthic restoration of the Condado Lagoon: A total of seven (7) proposals were submitted for the project “Water Quality Improvement and Seagrass Restoration at the Condado Lagoon”. The proposals were submitted by the following consultant firms: TetraTech, URS, UNIPRO, CMA Architect s & Engineers LLP, AG Environmental PSC, Pedro Panzardi & Associates, and Integrated Global Solutions. A proposal package including the proposal evaluation form was sent to the proposal evaluation committee. The proposal evaluation committee is composed by the following members: Ernesto Diaz, DRNA; Jorge Tous, USACE; Evelyn Huertas, USEPA; Craig Lyllistron, DRNA; and Jorge Bauzá, SJBEP. On December 13, 2010 the committee will meet in the SJBEP’s office to discuss the proposals and to select the contactor for the first phase of what will be one of the main seagrass restoration projects of the island.

2) The San Juan Municipality begins outreach campaign to control dog waste: The Municipality published a full color brochure geared to dog owners with recommendations to keep clean the stormwater system of San Juan from pet feces. The brochure is being distributed to pet owners through a network of veterinary offices, pet shops and related locations. The pollution generated by this kind of waste on the bodies of water is of great concern to the San Juan Bay Estuary Program and to all the organizations of the National Estuary Program.

One of the main outreach initiatives on this topic is the coordinated by the Tampa Bay National Estuary Program. For additional information please follow the link:

3) SJBEP at the Ocean Survey Vessel BOLD:
The San Juan Bay Estuary Program's Coordinator of Water Quality Monitoring, Ernesto M. Olivares, participated in a survey conducted by EPA using sediment bioassays, chemical analysis, SPI and side scan sonar survey technology to asses sediments at the boundary of the common outfall of the Bayamón Regional Waste water Treatment Plant (RWTP), Puerto Nuevo RWTP and the Bacardi Corporation Distillery. Doug Pabst was the chief scientist and team leader of the survey. More information on the BOLD can be accessed through the following site:

4) SJBEP’s first water quality monitoring event at the Isla del Diablo creeks completed: The first water monitoring collection activity at Capetillo's Isla del Diablo creeks was completed thanks to the participation of members of this key community effort. The Capetillo community in coordination with the University of Puerto Rico and CAUCE are cleaning and planting over 2 acres of what used to be a giant illegal dump/ drug trade and smuggling site (from there its name of Isla del Diablo or Devil’s Island). The first signs of a healthy urban forest are already visible. Our organization is collaborating in the restoration of two small creeks that run through the forest.

5) Water Quality Monitoring completed for November: Ernesto M. Olivares and Dr. Jorge Bauzá finished monitoring all stations assigned for November.

6) Communications contract interviews: Javier Laureano interviewed five (5) excellent potential candidates for the communications contract during November 23 and 24, 2010. A final decision must be made by the first weeks of December.

7) The Puerto Rico Water and Environment Association (PRWEA) pledged $2,000 for the PR Water Quality Monitoring Day: As part of an alliance between the PRWEA and the SJBEP, the President of the first entity, Mr. Jaime López, pledged $2,000 for this key annual event in a meeting with Javier Laureano. The PRWEA also offered a free membership to the SJBEP at the Water Environment Federation:

8) SJBEP’s logo at billboard as part of Cigarette Butts Anti-Littering Campaign- The SJBE is collaborating with the local chapter of Keep America Beautiful (Conserva el Encanto de Mi Isla Preciosa) and the PR Tourism Company in a campaign to educate consumers on the harm to the water environment that cigarette litter produces. This week a new billboard was placed at the Baldorioty de Castro Ave and permanent ashtrays were placed at he Escambrón Beach area. Next Saturday, December 4, 2010 volunteers from the San Juan Bay Estuary Program, Scuba Dogs and the Caribe Hilton Hotel will distribute educational materials and portable ashtrays at the Escambrón Beach.

9) SJBEP’s volunteers on mangrove planting event – Our Citizens Advisory Committee President, Gretchen Guzmán, from G Works Inc., and the Corredor del Yaguazo community group, with the support and help of the volunteers of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program planted 1,600 Red Mangrove seeds covering 0.9 lineal mile. For this activity the volunteers used Dr. Jorge Bauzá Technique as the areas impacted are considered low energy coastal zones. Residents were instructed on the whys and benefits of these planting activities since on past events some of the seedlings were torn apart. Water was sampled and analyzed for PH, Dissolved Oxygen and temperature. We thank our Estuary Guardians from the Congregación Mita School for their full support to the event.

10) Estuary’s Green Cinema: The movie "The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas" was screened at the Condado Lagoon Park on November 27, 2010 at the Condado Lagoon Jaime Benítez Park. The trailer can be found at the following site:

IMPORTANT WORKSHOP- Community Vegetable Garden Creation Workshop- The SJBEP and the Huerto, Vivero y Bosque Urbano de Capetillo community group will offer a community vegetable garden creation workshop to our volunteers, stakeholders and community leaders. The activity will take place on December 18, 2010 from 8:30am to 5:00pm To join this marvelous community-based experience, please contact Gladys Rivera at:

Save the Date-EPA’s 40th Anniversary!!-December 10th, 2010- The event will take place at the Inter American University on December 10, 2010 from 8am to 5:30pm. Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator, will highlight EPA’s priorities for the island. For reservations please call Mrs. Brenda Reyes at 787-977-5869

Save the Date-Mangrove Planting this Saturday-!! This Saturday, November 20, 2010 the SJBEP joins Corredor de Yaguazo community organization and Gworks in the continuation of an ongoing collaborative restoration effort to plant red, white and black mangroves at the La Esperanza barrier island in the San Juan Bay. The activity begins at 8:30am For additional information please contact Gladys Rivera at

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